By Michelle Gwynn Jones
Much has been said about the need to have a Writer’s Platform. For those who have missed the buzz, a writer’s platform is a way to make yourself known in the industry and to the readers, hopefully before your book is published. Often it consists of a website and/or other presence in the virtual land of cyberspace combined with the real life experiences of speaking engagements, professional awareness and physical networking.
Building a website and launching it on the net is a good place to start. I have spent a lot of time reading the websites maintained by new or unpublished authors. It is often the case a writer takes the first step to developing their platform and never takes the second. Unfortunately so many of these websites are placed on the net by the author who never comes back to work on them again.
This is a missed opportunity. A writer will never develop an audience if the reader stops returning because there is nothing new to read. A website must offer new information in order to keep the attention of the viewer. That does not mean that every page must change every day. What it does mean is that you must find something new to say about once a week. It doesn’t have to be long, just a short blurb such as: Review a recent book that you read or give your opinion on a classic. Discuss a blog that caught your eye on a subject related to writing. Post a short section of your work in progress.
Whatever you choose to write, keep it on point. Remember the reason for a writer’s platform is to present yourself as a professional in the field. Unfortunately sometimes the author of a website forgets that the reason they developed it was to promote themselves as a writer and to showcase their written work. It is fine to have an “About the Author” page where you tell a little of your history, a bit about your significant other and display a picture of your four legged friends. It is not the website to blog about the obnoxious barista behind the counter, the mysterious water gathering in your basement or the constant battle between your cats Montague and Capulet. If you really feel the need to purge your mind of such non-related information then you should start a personal blog.